Frequently Asked Questions
What is Lifeline?
Lifeline is a government program that offers qualified people a discount on their monthly local telephone or internet bill. Each state has its own guidelines to qualify. The Lifeline Assistance Program allows individuals and families a basic discount on monthly service charges for basic phone or internet services. These programs are made available to low-income households who meet certain eligibility requirements and are provided by designated Eligible Telecommunications Carriers or ETC.
How much can I save?
You will save up to $9.25 for your basic monthly bill. You can only use Lifeline for either phone or internet, but not both. These benefits apply to your Monthly Access Charge.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
Applicants for the federal Lifeline and Link-Up programs must have an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or they must be enrolled in one or more of the following assistance programs:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps or SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TTANF)
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Head Start (if income eligibility criteria are met)
- State assistance programs (if applicable).
Show a card, letter, or official document, as proof that you participate in one of these programs when you apply for Lifeline.
2021 Poverty Guidelines for Hawaii
If your household’s income is at 135% or less than of the federal poverty guidelines, you may be eligible for a Lifeline Program discount.
|# of persons in family/household||Income Requirement|
add $7,047 for each person additional person after 8.
- Source: Universal Service Administrative Co.
Are there any restrictions?
Only one Lifeline discount is allowed per household.
Who are the Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETC) in Hawaii and how do I apply? (Click on a provider below for more information specific to the carrier)
|Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc.||Call 1-888-955-7274|
|Boomerang Wireless, LLC (enTouch Wireless)||Call 1-866-488-8719|
|Hawaiian Telcom||Call 808-643-3456|
|Q Link Wireless||Call 1-855-754-3546|
|SafeLink Wireless||Call 1-800-723-3546|
|Tempo Telecom, LLC||Call 1-888-565-1011|
You will be asked to provide proof of your eligibility by providing a form signed under penalty of perjury that you receive benefits from one of the federal programs that comprises the federal eligibility criteria. Your Lifeline benefits will take effect when proof of eligibility is received.
How do I continue to receive Lifeline benefits?
Eligibility is reviewed periodically. Your benefits will be discontinued when you no longer meet the eligibility requirements or when proof of eligibility is not received.
Other Useful information
There are other options that can help you save money, including free toll blocking, waived deposit with toll blocking and voluntary limit on long distance calling (toll control).
Read the Consumer Advocate’s letter to the Public Utilities Commission regarding Eligible Telecommunications Carriers in Docket No. 2016-0093 of the PUC DMS page.